15Idiocracy is About the Indifference of Average People
For the most part, Idiocracy's message is perfectly understood. Mike Judge’s dark look at a future in which the average intelligence of American citizens has dropped significantly is often cited as one of the most important comedies released in the last 20 years. Whenever something happens that someone else
perceives as a sign that the “dumb people” are taking over America, there is always someone there ready to declare their actions as the foundation of an idiocracy.
While that is part of the overall message, there’s a subtlety to the story that tends to be overlooked. Idiocracy is more about the indifference of the common man than it is the actions of the exceptionally stupid. At one point in the film, protagonist Joe Bauers suggests that the world turned out this way because of people like him. Joe is neither particularly dumb nor exceptionally smart. He’s an average guy who suddenly must deal with the burden of stepping up rather than stepping aside. Had more people like him made a similar contribution, perhaps the world would have turned out differently.